#1 of The Claire Wolfe Thrillers
Published 10th January 2021
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Claire is the one left out, she’s the dark to her sister Tina’s light. Everyone sees Tina, the blonde haired, blued eyed angel, with the thousand watt smile. Claire is the only one who knows what Tina is really like, she has seen the psychopath that lurks beneath the perfect façade. So when Tina is brutally murdered on her fourteenth birthday – the one day Claire didn’t walk her home from school – Claire can’t forgive herself, and neither can her mother. Fast forward twelve years and Claire is now a detective. Returning home has been her plan all along, the one thing that kept her going was the need to solve Tina’s murder and catch the killer that the Newburgh police couldn’t. But something dark is lurking in the shadows of Claire’s home town, and the killing has started again. Claire knows it has to be Tina’s killer coming out of retirement, only this is no run of the mill Serial Killer. This is a killer who can outsmart even the most adept FBI personnel and profilers. When Claire ends up being put in the spot light as a lead suspect, unable to trust anyone, especially herself, she’ll need to break every rule in the book in order to bring the killer to justice and save the next girl. The clock is ticking…
I became a huge fan of psychological thrillers a couple of years ago, and this one is up there as one of the best that I’ve read. A beautiful blend of serial killer crime and psychological mindf*ck, this story kept me guessing the whole time. What I loved about this story is that it didn’t read like a regular crime or police procedural story, and that’s fantastic, no hate towards those kinds of books, but they can get a little bogged down in the ins and outs of the little case details and it can get kind of stale, this has all the needed information, and none of the bore. And I am LIVING for it.
This story is so well written that I had no clue what was going to happen, I will say, I did guess one of the minor players as soon as we meet them, but honestly that was neither here nor there. I THOUGHT I had everything worked out, and when one thing happened and I was like “Oh wow, I didn’t see that coming, huh.” then this other thing happened that blew that first thing out of the water and OH MY GOD!! I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!! This is the first book in a long time that surprised me THAT much. I didn’t pick it, not at all, even when you’re sort of given a crumb of a hint, I didn’t read the hint that way! I did not see that ending coming and wow. That’s all I can honestly say. Wow. Also, this is one of the best cases of unreliable narrator that I’ve ever read. It honestly had me not knowing who I could trust and who I couldn’t and I feel like it really threw me into the deep end of the story and made me feel fully immersed. Millen’s ability in his craft is phenomenal, the way that Claire ends up isolated and cut off from literally EVERYONE, I felt that in my soul. The slow build of a claustrophobic atmosphere as you know you’re running out of time, this book left me breathless and I struggled to put it down.
The characters in this story were so well written, full off the page, as real as you or I, dimensional. I felt for Claire so badly, as we first meet her when her sister dies, and we get snippets of her childhood throughout the book, this all really endeared her to me and I couldn’t help but ache for what she had lost, and what that had done to her familial relationships and her self esteem. Even though Tina is dead, and has been for twelve years, I couldn’t help but hate her. As we learn more about the kind of person she was, I hated her. I did feel for the fact that her life had been snuffed out too soon, but I still hated her. She was so manipulative and conniving and she just made me love Claire’s character even more. Getting to see Claire’s parents and the way the death of her sister STILL weighed on them was an amazing addition as well. I’d love to talk about every single characters in depth, but I just can’t. I’ll prattle on for hours if you let me.
The story was riveting and kept me guessing the whole time. There was no plot holes that jumped out and threatened to swallow me whole, so I love that this story felt air tight and kept me guessing the whole time. It was an absolute page turner, especially as you slowly descend into madness trying to figure out if our narrator can be trusted or not. The sense of urgency just kept building and building, even during the big reveal at the end, the tension and urgency still kept ratcheting up. Absolutely mind blowing.
I’m not going to keep rambling. I don’t want to give anything away, not even the smallest detail. This is a book that you need to go into not knowing what to expect or who’s going to come out the other side, trust me, you’ll love it. Do yourself a huge favour, if you love dark crime, psychological thrillers, so much suspense you could carve it with a spoon and wonderful writing that will grab you by the throat and drag you under, give this book a go. I highly recommend it. And I’ve just noticed that this is a series….I. Am. In. HEAVEN!!